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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 1, 2010 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Who would have thunk it? :)

http://music.msn.com/miles-davis/story/review/

JAZZ FOR DEADHEADS

"Bitches Brew" is a swirling, psychedelic storm of sound. Davis' trumpet is definitely the lead instrument, but he's fighting for space alongside electric guitar, two bassists (one acoustic and one electric), multiple drummers and percussionists, several electric keyboardists, saxophone and bass clarinet. Songs arise gradually, building out of what sometimes sounds like unfocused jamming, and they end the same way. But when the band builds up a head of steam, as on "John McLaughlin," they muster all the power of the Grateful Dead, who were also peaking in 1969.

Indeed, "Bitches Brew" is almost a jazz counterpart to the San Francisco band's pivotal "Live/Dead," with the title track serving as Miles' own equivalent to the Dead's shape-shifting "Dark Star." Jazz fans weren't ready for it, but neither were rock fans.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Nov 1, 2010 1:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

To call that pretentious rock crap with lame trumpet jazz is insulting to jazz.As to how it relates to Live Dead or the GD in any manner I am at a loss,are we to believe that "jazz" must have rock like instrumentation to appeal to us unrefined GD listeners.I think GD fans would have more in common with the adventurous music of Sun Ra,Roland Kirk,Art Ensemble of Chicago,Last Exit to name a few.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Nov 1, 2010 1:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

Well this is what Phil thought when Miles Davis' Bitches Brew band played support to the Dead in 1970:

"I was thinking, 'What's the use? How can we possibly play after this? We should just go home and try to digest this unbelievable shit.' This was our first encounter with Miles' new direction... In some ways, it was similar to what we were trying to do in our free jamming, but ever so much more dense with ideas, and seemingly controlled with an iron first, even at its most alarmingly intense moments."

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 1, 2010 3:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

Respect your elders! Reminds me of reading about the Rolling Stones first American adventures. They were in this tour thing called the TAMI shows and were supposed to follow James Brown. I've read that the Stones watched from back stage and Mick Jagger was shaking with fear when they went on.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 1, 2010 3:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

You may not believe it, but there was a time when those jazz musicians wanted to make more money. For folks who were into the Dead at that time, there wasn't that much more in rock improv to go towards, so it was a match made in heaven. It was bombastic, highly skilled, and fun and I saw a lot of it. Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, DiMeola, Return To Forever, not jazz?

BTW - how do you define jazz?

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Nov 1, 2010 3:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

As for what Phil says or his taste in music that is of no import to me,I'm aware that he and Jerry said they were influenced by Miles but I don't hear it,in turn you can clearly hear the Coltrane influence.Diamondhead,I would call it fusion to differentiate it from mainstream or avant garde/free jazz,because I believe it has little to do with genuine jazz.It is clearly jazz based,but straddles two genres and comes out a watered down hybrid,neither jazz nor rock.Thus I take issue with calling it jazz.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 1, 2010 5:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

OK, I can buy that. I just want to know what the definitions of 'real' jazz are?

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Poster: mmw12207 Date: Nov 2, 2010 11:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who would have thunk it? :)

I am curious about what your definition of "genuine jazz" is too, especially since you are using examples of music that many "genuine jazz" musicians would say (or would have said back then) isn't jazz at all as examples of jazz...many jazz musicians during the 60s and 70s were against classifying fusion, free and avante garde jazz as true jazz so it seems odd to use those groups as examples.

Beyond that I think jazz is a genre that is difficult to actually define..there are so many styles and it's been ever evolving since it began so to say something that's highly influenced by jazz and played by jazz musicians isn't jazz is kind of weird too.

To each his own but I think if a jazz great like Miles wants to call it jazz.....it's jazz.

p.s. Bitches Brew is an amazing album, the band Miles toured with was amazing and I'd challenge most rock musicians to give that type of improv a shot and see how it works out..my guess is that it wouldn't because they wouldn't even know what chords or scales to play.

Listen to a long "Playing in the Band" from 1972-75, "Let is Grow" from the same period, some sections of "Dark Star" (same period), Garcia/Saunders/Kahn or Legion of Mary (same period). The influence of fusion as found in Bitches Brew is right there for you to find. It seems pretty hard to miss and was one of the major reasons I started listening to the Dead being that I was a jazz fan first.